This week has been heavy on non-fiction and familiar fiction favorites for me, as I’ve been trying to work my way into Pink VIII.
— Pauline Bonaparte: Venus of Empire, Flora Fraser
An engaging biography of Napoleon’s most notorious sibling. Many of you might remember Pauline’s cameo appearance in Pink I…. Yes, she really did have that many lovers.
— Jane Austen’s ‘Outlandish Cousin’: the Life and Letters of Eliza de Feuillide, Deirdre Le Faye
I became intrigued by Austen’s cosmopolitan cousin (later her sister-in-law) while researching Austen for The Mischief of the Mistletoe. Rumored to be the love child of Warren Hastings, the notorious Governor General of India, Austen’s cousin lived a life a world away from the sheltered precincts of Steventon, including a first marriage to a French “count” who met his death on the guillotine. Eliza de Feuillide’s letters provide a charming, gossipy look at life in late eighteenth and early nineteenth century England and France.
— Die for Love, Elizabeth Peters
An old, old favorite of mine. Peters’ Die for Love sends up the writing world in general and romance writers in particular as the dead bodies start piling up at an apocryphal romance writer convention. Hysterically funny.
In a similar vein, I also highly recommend Kasey Michaels’ Maggie by the Book, a spirited murder mystery set at the fictional WAR (We Are Romance) conference.
— Naked Once More, Elizabeth Peters
The sequel to Die for Love, in which former librarian turned romance novelist Jacqueline Kirby is hired to write the sequel to mega-bestseller Naked in the Ice– but finds herself tracking down the original author’s killer instead. Much excellent snarkiness. Kirby is a sister under the skin to Miss Gwen.
What have you been reading?